The uncertainty over negotiations
for Brexit has caught up with
the City letting market and the
current quarter is likely to
produce very poor results.
That is the prediction of John
Ostroumoff, of Ostroumoff who is
pleading for the major players in the
market to come together and form a
committee devoted to arguing the
City’s case at a time when occupiers
have to face increases in business
rates in April. “We have no idea
where we are and this uncertainty is
causing real damage to confidence”,
he said. “The City needs to have a
powerful voice in arguing its case at
a time where there is not only the
problem of Brexit, but the whole
future of the European Union”.
Like other parts of London,
Midtown is constantly changing
and is increasingly becoming a
melting pot for businesses.
That is the view of Farebrother,
whose Julian Hind added that: “while
the area has long been associated
with legal and other professional
services, that stereotype is increasingly
a thing of the past”. Farebrother
highlighted the arrival of Publicis to 40
Chancery Lane as being emblematic of
how Midtown identity is changing.
In the past it would hve been highly
unlikely for such a large marketing
and communications company to opt
for the area. Hind said: “Clearly,
Crossrail will be transformational but
it is also about the quality of the
environment in Midtown. Recent
new developments have brought
better amenities to the location”.
Just how far London changes shape
in the next decade as new areas
expand their commercial appeal
will be one of the fascinating
events of the UK economy.
The business district of the
South Bank spreads east and
west; Kings Cross and that part
of north London deepens its
commercial area and Docklands
performs and links more effectively
Given the importance of the HS2
rail line it could be expected that
Euston would be on the list for
development starting with tenders
to rebuild the railway station.
What is emerging at nearby
Kings Cross is a fast growing tech
hub with Camden Council getting
in on the action by hosting a tech
hub in its town hall as part of the
refurbishment of the building.
Even more significant is that
Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosen have
been selected by the British Library
to develop an adjacent 8 acre site
for a new science hub in St Pancras.
The site is capable of up to
65,030 sq.metres (700,000sq.ft.
part of which will be for the new
Alan Turing Institute for computer
research together with extra space
for the British Library.
What makes this so special is
that Google is to develop a
60,385 sq.metres (650,000sq.ft.
ten storey building to house
7,000 employees on its campus at
Google’s Sundar Pichal said:
“Here in the UK it is clear to me that
computer science has a great future
with the talent, educational
institutions and passion for
innovation we see all around us”.
East London is also pushing the
technology focus with THECUBE, a
post incubator scientific facility for
SMEs opening in the londoneast-uk
Business & Technical Park in
Dagenham on the former site of
Sanofi’s pharmaceutical plant.
Chinese investors are attracted
to east London and a Sino-Australian
company is in the running to
develop a 557,400 sq.metres
) trade park for the
25 acre Albert Island site close to
the vast development at Royal
Albert Dock by joint venture
SITIC & ABP.
Underlining its commitment to
east London, Workspace is to
redevelop Stratford Village in a
mixed use scheme with 101
residential units and offices. In
Hackney, Workspace has planning
permission for the development
of Mare Street Studios in a scheme
with 3,530 sq.metres (38,000sq.ft
of offices and light industrial.
Commercial Property Register
February - May 2017www.compropregister.com
The balanced performance of so many
different parts of London has been
impressive for a number of years.
But is the party coming to an end
on the rock of the Brexit situation?
If the predictions of John Ostroumoff
prove to be correct, then many complacent
politicians and the business world are in for
a real shock. It will underline his case for a
powerful push by the Square Mile led by the City of London to make
the government heed the potential damage that is happening.
The damage this will cause to confidence is enormous and play
straight into the hands of major cities like Paris and Frankfurt waiting
to gobble up the City’s business. On the other hand, Europe has its
considerable uncertainties to come in the form of elections in France,
Germany and the Netherlands.
Even so, London has so much going for it at the moment through
expanding technology companies in so many locations and the forward
looking creation of tech hubs, such as the one adjacent to the British
Library. In addition there are the major transport improvements ot
Crossrail, Thameslink and new tube and main line trains.
However it is hard to see how any force can push back the problems
of negotiations over Brexit and the volatility that will bring in a
minimum of the two year period. So we do need an independent voice
for London talking above the machinations of the politicians.